Archive for the ‘public speaking classes’ Category
I had a fantastic time teaching a custom presentation skills class in Houston, Texas for QuestIRA last week. Quest is a really unique company that helps their clients establish and maintain self-directed IRA’s without a broker. So, a big part of their organization deals with educating their clients so that the clients can make good financial decisions. Many of their clients have moved their IRA funds out of the stock market and into asset-based investments like real estate, commercial property, business loans, and precious metals.
Custom Presentation Skills Class for Different Levels of Speaking Skill
One of the things that made this class unique was that we had both of the founders of the company, who deliver three to five presentations a week, along with new associates who have never delivered a speech at all. Because we focused on a few basic techniques and moved quickly into some of our more advanced ideas on designing custom presentations, though, everyone was satisfied with the results. Below are a few of the comments from the class.
“I thought this course was very great, and gave our whole team some really good tools to improve the content of our presentations. I really liked how Doug showed us how to structure our presentations and what type of content/structure works best to really give a quality, persuasive presentation.” — Haley Gant
“Doug was great. Perfect professionalism and unique touch. Tips were better than expected and he helped with a lot of things I didn’t even know I was doing wrong.” — Keaton Munster
“Had a great time. Doug was very informative. I feel better about presenting now that I did before I took this class. Thank you.” — Waqas Khatri
Thanks, Quest IRA! I look forward to working with you again soon.
I had an absolute blast teaching a really fun Washington DC presentation class in September of 2017. The presentation class actually had a pretty funny (and embarrassing) start for me. Some of you may know Fiona Dawson who typically teaches our Washington DC Fearless Presentations ® classes. One of our clients hired her to conduct a private class for their employees, so I flew in from Dallas to teach the class in her place. Now, I’ve been to Washington DC dozens of times, and I’m very familiar with the area. In fact, I was the one who set up our office on I Street a couple years ago. Well, about six months ago, our landlord sold the building, and our our local team moved the office about a mile away. Keep in mind, I’ve never been to the new office.
So, I booked a hotel within walking distance of the new office address. I arrived late afternoon the day before this class. Since I had some time, I figured I’d take a walk to see the office in person, but when I punched the address into my phone, it was showing me being about 4 miles away. I started to get angry, because I specifically picked this hotel to make sure I could walk to the office in the morning, and now I’d have to get ready earlier and catch an Uber. But, in the grander scheme of things, it wasn’t a really big deal. I just sat my alarm clock about 30 minutes earlier.
The morning of the class, I got up early. Caught my ride to the office. And, even though it took me a good 30 minutes to get through DC traffic, I arrived at the new office about an hour before the class start time. Of course, I have no key to the place, and the elevator wouldn’t take me to our floor before 8:30 without a key, so I patiently waited in the lobby. I was a little concerned, because by 8:30 AM, I hadn’t seen anyone from our company, and no class members had arrived. (There is always a couple of people who arrive really early.) The elevators finally unlocked, and I made my way to our floor. However, when the elevator doors opened, I didn’t see our logo or furniture. It hit me very quickly that I was in the wrong place, and my class members were likely already showing up in the right place!
Panic sat in really quickly. I double-checked the address. Turns out that I left off the NW at the end of the address, so I was… wait for it… about 4.1 miles away from the office. Luckily, a passing cab saw me coming out of the business and moved quickly through traffic to get me to the correct address. I ended up arriving for my own class about 2 minutes after the start time.
It was so embarrassing. It was particularly embarrassing when I mentioned tip number four in the 10 ways to reduce public speaking fear. That tip says that if you are the speaker, make sure to arrive early so you aren’t distracted or pressured before your speech.
Man is that tip true!
Because of the funny start, though, the group was really able to break the ice early. So, the class was very helpful for all of us! If you’d like to participate in one of our classes, visit our class schedule page at https://www.fearlesspresentations.com/washington-dc-public-speaking-class/
In September 2017 a group of eight came together in a North Dallas high rise to conquer their fear of public speaking for the latest Fearless Presentations ® presentation class in Dallas, TX. They felt a certain comfort in knowing that they were all there for the same thing, so the atmosphere was relaxed, energetic and very upbeat. We started out the day going over the ten tips to controlling public speaking anxiety and then discussing which tips would work best for them. One participant said “realizing that ninety percent of nervousness doesn’t show is very helpful to me.” Another participant mentioned that the tip on the best way to practice your presentation was most helpful. She said that when you “Practice with someone that can actually provide ideas and feedback to the presentation, you improve with each practice.”
The group realized the power of inserting stories into their presentations, and how powerful this can be for a speaker. The group noticed that when participants explained a good story to the audience, they seemed more relaxed. The presentations were also easier to deliver. We learned that doing things a little differently can achieve dramatically different results, so don’t be afraid to try new things — new ways to add impact to your presentations.
One of the participants commented “The practice with a partner before giving our presentation was more helpful than I thought it would be”. The one thing that they all learned is that the fear of public speaking is universal, but something we can be overcome if we understand that public speaking is a skill that can be developed and mastered. A class participant agreed and wrote this in his exit survey about the class “the main thing I learned is that I can overcome my fear of public speaking, and it is a skill that can be learned and improve with practice.”
For information about the next Presentation Class in Dallas, TX, click this link. We offer these programs every three to four months. To view feedback from this and other classes that we offer, visit our Quotes from Past Participants page.
We had a really fun public speaking class in Atlanta, Georgia last week, that had participants from finance, sales, recruiting, social work, and even the owner of a modeling agency. One of the very nice things about open enrollment public speaking classes, is that the diverse industries represented in each class show how presentation nervousness is really common. The great news is that the way to overcome this nervousness is common as well. If you have stage fright (or even if you present well in front of groups, but you just want to get better), the best way to do overcome this challenge is to have a series of successes in front of a group. That is what happened in this group. The first day of the class covered a series of component exercises, and as each presenter mastered each component, the speed and ease that they developed in designing presentations was remarkable.
This Public Speaking Class in Atlanta Had a Diverse Need
This public speaking class was unique in that a couple of people from the group were very experienced presenters, and a couple of the people in the group were brand-new to speaking all together. Interestingly, though, as each person grew as a speaker, we all learned great things from each other. Each presenter received a huge round of applause at the end of their final talk.
Thanks to this fantastic group who attended the class in Atlanta!
A group of 13 fearless presenters gathered in Chicago to increase their skills or overcome some speaking fears. If a few were skeptical of their ability to change, by the end of our two days, the group marveled at the many transformations. One participant, who had talked about many fears of speech anxiety declared herself “cured!” The group was very supportive of each other. On the second day, pairs helped each other practice their speeches and practice their stories. We heard speeches about authenticity at work, how to grow a career, the usefulness of walkie-talkies at schools, information on the HIPAA act, and many other topics. Participants admired each other and then slowly came to accept that they too were doing terrific work. They came to realize that their nervousness was actually bringing energy to their presentations. And while each had feared that their topics weren’t interesting enough, all the participants eventually discovered that they were all interesting and inspiring communicators.
As our time came to an end the group shared business cards and vowed to stay in touch, helping each other continue to grow as vibrant speakers.
This Fearless Presentation ® was facilitated by Laura Lewis Barr on June 22-23 at the Regus Chicago —
321 N. Clark St. Ste. 500, Chicago, IL 60654, USA
If you are interested in attending a Chicago, Illinois public speaking class, click here for the upcoming schedule.
I had a great time teaching a Washington DC presentation class this month! High achieving Washington DC participants worked hard at their presentations. After practicing with partners, some rehearsed their stories one more time, retelling their tale out loud while pacing in the corner of the room. Some spent extra time helping to listen to a fellow student practice one more time. The group of ten also supported each other as they organized and then delivered their longer speeches on day two of the Fearless Presentation class. Whether the speech was an interview for a new job, saving baby seals in Canada, or offering reassurance to a Board of Directors about succession planning, the group asked each other great questions
It was exciting to see each person’s unique strengths. One speaker used dramatic pauses brilliantly. Another demonstrated impressive poise and focus. Another used dry humor effectively Several participants used excellent gestures and posture to convey dynamic leadership.
This Fearless Presentation class was led by Laura Lewis-Barr at the Hilton Garden Inn, 2201 M Street NW, Washington ,DC on May 19 and 20, 2017.
Looking for a Washington DC Presentation Class?
We teach presentation classes in Washington, DC three to four times per year. For a complete list of upcoming classes, visit the Washington DC class schedule page at https://www.fearlesspresentations.com/washington-dc-public-speaking-class/. By the way, we also teach classes in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, so if you need a class on a different date, make sure and look at the regional class list here: Northeast Region.
As a Fearless Presentation ® instructor, I always cherish our open-enrollment, two-day presentation skills classes in Chicago. I am continually privileged to meet incredible professionals in a wide variety of fields. What they all have in common is a commitment to ongoing personal development. Not only do they carve out a chunk of time from their schedules, many also exhibit great courage as they step into their (sometimes huge) fear of public speaking. But even with my high expectations of each FP class, I was especially inspired by the group that just finished classes in Chicago. They were soulful, articulate, and very supportive of each other as they tackled the art of storytelling and the challenges of simplifying ideas for listeners. They practiced diligently and by the end of the two days, each had a speech they could deliver to delighted audiences.
Days later, one participant reflected on his experience. “When you’re intimidated by something like public speaking, it’s so easy to feel alone–which just compounds the anxiety. But meeting you guys and being reminded that many of us are in the same boat–and more importantly–that it’s something we are working to overcome was a big part of what I took away from this experience. Thanks for your bravery. I found you all inspiring.”
Me too. Thanks Chicago FP.
I recently had the pleasure to conduct a fabulous presentations skills class for a handful of professionals in sunny Miami, Florida. Although our presentations skills class is called Fearless Presentations ® it is much more than just a way to reduce public speaking fear. In fact, many professional business people who attend the class are amazed at how big a jump they make in their presentation skills development in just two days. This program in Miami was really fun because we had a great mix of people from different industries, cultures, and locations on the map. One of the participants is the current Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, and she is currently stationed at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, DC. Two of the participants were from Texas who enrolled in this presentation skills class, because the just missed the last program in Dallas, TX. Still another of the class members works for The History Channel and A&E discovering new programming for their channels in South and Central America. The final participant is a scientist who does research and development developing healthcare breakthroughs that save lives.
About halfway through the class, Audrey, the Ambassador, (who incidentally also is the CEO of eight different companies that she founded in Jamaica), mentioned that she was fascinated by the expertise in the room. She said, “Everyone has a fascinating story about how they got to where they are.” She is totally correct. One of the great things about classes like these is that they help people who have similar challenges (like nervousness speaking in front of a group) overcome these challenges together and build camaraderie along the way.
I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the next couple of years, A&E develops a new show in Central America about a certain former politician turned talk-show host.
For details about upcoming presentation skills classes in Miami, visit the link to the right.
Nippy weather and rainy skies greeted us in Philadelphia as we kicked off our 2-day of Fearless Presentation ® public speaking class in Philadelphia, PA. As usual, our group was a mix of different professions from different industries. The presenters’ industries ranged from an Ivy League University to a person who sells baked goods. We also had one participant from the healthcare industry (see our new class for the healthcare industry – https://www.fearlesspresentations.com/public-speaking/how-to-make-an-oral-presentation-to-healthcare-colleagues/)
Yet, each participant came for the same reason: to better get their message across to their respective audiences. Overcoming the fear of public speaking is a tough job but all of us got through it. We also learned the basics of storytelling and found that sharing your experience with your listener makes it easier to offer your advice and implement your suggestions. Participants also discovered that they did not need to be afraid of speaking to groups. Instead, through being creative and original, they could enjoy it. Asking for and getting change is one of the hardest things to do. Audience members often do not want to give up old behaviors and old ways of doing things. But with the right message, delivered the right way, it is possible to create change through being persuasive.
On day one, we learned the basics of a presentation, and on day two, we put those basics into action. We ended the presentation class with each person delivering their speeches from beginning to end with a tremendously clear improvement from when they first entered the class. Everyone went on to enjoy their weekend and looking forward to their next chance to give a talk. The Leaders Institute ® wishes you much success for your future presentations!
For a list of upcoming public speaking classes in Philadelphia, make sure and click this link! We’ll see you in our next class!
A great group of people met in Washington DC to overcome their fear of public speaking and to improve their presentation skills. One of the key learning points for the group was understanding how important energy and enthusiasm is to a presentation. There is an old saying that, “people will not get excited about your presentation unless the speaker is excited.” This is a very true statement. If you can’t be excited about your topic, then you can’t expect anyone in your audience to get excited. I hear many people in our Fearless Presentations ® Workshops tell me all the time that they are accountants or engineers and that “there is nothing exciting about explaining what they do.” It’s important to understand that if the process that you are explaining isn’t exciting, then the results should be. I remember a student told me that she sold accounting software. Now, I have to admit that there isn’t too much excitement explaining why a company should stop using their software and start using your companies. But, when I asked her what made her software better, she said that once their software was completely utilized, the average data entry person could save, on average, 4 hours a week because they wouldn’t have to make duplicate entries. I don’t really understand what that means, but I can get excited about having an additional 4 hours a week to work on important tasks. This is where the results are what you get the customer excited about. So, next time you feel like you’re having a struggle with enthusiasm your topic, ask yourself, what the benefit of the Result is. You should be able to get excited about presenting a great solution to even the non-exciting issues that they face. For information about how you can improve your presentation shills, go to www.fearlesspresentations.com